The dynamics of climate change governance in Indonesia

“The dynamics of climate change governance in Indonesia”. Authors: Prof Budy P. ResosudarmoFitrian Ardiansyah and Lucentezza Napitupulu.

A book chapter (Chapter 4) in D. Held, C. Rogers & EM Nag (eds), Climate Governance in the Developing World, Polity (2013), Cambridge.

Please check the pre-published/proof-read edition here Chapter 4. Indonesia_resosudarmo_ardiansyah_napitupulu or if you want to access the chapter and/or the book:



This chapter is an attempt to explain why the Indonesian president made a major climate change commitment, although the issue of mitigation had not been widely discussed domestically. The chapter also offers an explanation as to why the implementation of this commitment has been relatively slow so far. Understanding the forces behind Indonesia’s climate change commitment and the complexity of its implementation constitutes an important first step on the path towards resolving the challenges that have hindered progress.

Keywords:  Climate change governance – Indonesia – Climate change mitigation and adaptation – Climate change policy



“This valuable book once and for all dispels the myth that developing countries are unwilling to take action to confront climate change. By disentangling the complex motivations and incentives facing policy-makers, and the obstacles they face, this is important reading for all who want to understand how all countries can be encouraged to become part of the solution to climate change.” Andrew Steer, World Resources Institute

“This is a book of considerable value not only to governments and other stakeholders in the developing world, but to others across the globe as well. The principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ really needs considerable analysis and interpretation for application in different parts of the world. This book very ably reviews global developments and developing country initiatives to highlight the choices, opportunities and challenges facing the developing world in the field of climate governance. Given the very readable material presented in these pages, I would recommend this piece of literature to anyone interested in climate issues across the globe.” Rajendra K. Pachauri, Yale University

The large developing countries are essential to the global effort on climate change. This book by people with deep expertise in each country tells us with authority what they are doing and how. High quality work on an important subject.” Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne

———————————-Table of Contents of the BookList of Contributors
Abbreviations1. Editors’ Introduction: Climate Governance in the Developing World
David Held, Charles Roger and Eva-Maria NagPart I. Asia2. A Green Revolution: China’s Governance of Energy and Climate Change
David Held, Charles Roger and Eva-Maria Nag
3. The Evolution of Climate Policy in India: Poverty and Global Ambition in Tension
Aaron Atteridge
4. The Dynamics of Climate Governance in Indonesia
Budy P. Resosudarmo, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Lucentezza Napitupulu
5. Low-Carbon Green Growth and South Korea’s Governance of Climate Change
Jae-Seung Lee

Part II. Americas

6. Discounting the Future: The Politics of Climate Change in Argentina
Matías Franchini and Eduardo Viola
7. Controlling the Amazon: Brazil’s Evolving Response to Climate Change
David Held, Charles Roger and Eva-Maria Nag
8. Making “Peace with Nature”: Costa Rica’s Campaign for Climate Neutrality
Robert Fletcher
9. A Climate Leader? The Politics and Practice of Climate Governance in Mexico
Simone Pulver

Part III. Africa

10. Resources and Revenues: The Political Economy of Climate Initiatives in Egypt
Jeannie Sowers
11. Ethiopia’s Path to a Climate-Resilient Green Economy
David Held, Charles Roger and Eva-Maria Nag
12. Reducing Climate Change Vulnerability in Mozambique: From Policy to Practice
Angus Hervey and Jessica Blythe
13. Reaching the Crossroads: The Development of Climate Governance in South Africa
Lesley Masters

Book Authors Information:

David Held is Master of University College and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Durham University.

Charles Roger is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia and Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues.

Eva-Maria Nag is the Executive Editor of Global Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle

“Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle” (in the beginning of 2011 the old version of this was published as a working paper by Centre for Non-Traditional Security of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore). Authors: Fitrian Ardiansyah and Desak Putu Adhityani Putri.

Published as a book chapter (Chapter 8) in an edited book entitled “Human Security and Climate Change in Southeast Asia”. The editors are Prof Lorraine Elliott and Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony. The book is published by Routledge and the offer to buy this book has been put on, and a number of online bookshops.

Human Security and Climate Change in Southeast Asia

Edited by Lorraine Elliott, Mely Caballero-Anthony

Published August 2012 by Routledge – 240 pages

Series: Routledge Security in Asia Pacific Series

Part 1: Setting the context 1. Human security, climate change and social resilience Lorraine Elliott 2. The economics of climate change in Southeast Asia Juzhong Zhuang, Suphachol Suphachalasai and Jindra Nuella Samson Part 2: Conceptual approaches 3. A sociology of risk, vulnerability and resilience Devanathan Parthasarathy 4. Community rights and accessKeokam Kraisoraphong Part 3: Local risk and strategies for local resilience 5. REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation): mitigation, adaptation and the resilience of local livelihoods Enrique Ibarra Gené 6. The challenges for gender-responsive adaptation strategies Bernadette P Resurreccion Part 4: Scaling up to the region 7. Development for climate security Irene Kuntjoro 8. Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle Fitrian Ardiansyah and Desak Putu Adhityani Putri 9. Regional cooperation: enabling environments for adaptation and social resilience Mely Caballero-Anthony

Original links:

Abstract of my chapter (Chapter 8):

This chapter investigates the security impacts of climate change in three Southeast Asian cross-border areas– the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle – through an examination of the ways in which climate change results in human insecurity and possibly social unrest, tension and conflict. The three cross-border areas are significant in that they host unique but threatened large-scale freshwater, terrestrial forest, coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, they are home to more than 400 million people and provide important ecosystem goods and services to many countries in the region. This paper explores and evaluates regional agreements and actions in each of the three areas, with an emphasis on the mainstreaming of climate adaptation as well as mitigation in the development agenda. The analysis also points to the importance of reaching out to other actors beyond state and intergovernmental ones if adaptation and mitigation efforts were to succeed. There is a need to identify other actors, such as the business sector, local communities and the public, with the aim of getting them involved in these important issues.

Purchasing Options:

  • Hardback: 978-0-415-68489-7: $140.00



Ensuring the survival of the nation

Fitrian Ardiansyah , The Jakarta Post, Climate Solutions Column | Tue, 02/16/2010 1:32 PM | Environment

As an archipelagic nation depending so much on natural resources, Indonesia needs to equip itself to deal with the possible dire consequences of climate change.

A number of assessments, including from Climate Interactive and Professor John Sterman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), state that although the Copenhagen Accord reaffirms the goal of limiting temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius.

However, pledges submitted by countries mean the average global temperature may increase by 3.9

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average global temperature must not rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius to ensure that most vulnerable nations, communities and ecosystems survive.

With the current pledges, there is a risk we will overshoot 2 degrees Celsius, meaning we may face an era of rapid and accelerating climate change.

If this is the case, climate change will profoundly affect water and other natural resources, biodiversity and the economy across Indonesia, which will negatively impact on rural and urban populations across the country.

Hence, the challenge for the country is to develop appropriate ways to adapt to climate change, adjusting natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

There is also a need to integrate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) interventions.

According to Tom Mitchell from Climate and Disaster Governance, DRR is the development and application of policies and practices that minimize risks to vulnerabilities and disasters.

DRR, therefore, is an essential part of adaptation. It is the first line of defense against climate change impacts, such as increased flooding or regular droughts.  

Adaptation strategies can vary. Some approaches involve acknowledging that there are many non-climate change stresses on natural and human systems.

Limiting these stresses (such as pollution, illegal and destructive logging, forest conversion, over fishing and over exploitation of natural resources) may increase the natural resistance and resilience of people and ecosystems to the added stress of climate change.

To initiate CCA, the government needs to take the lead to assess and prioritize vulnerable sectors — agriculture, marine and coastal, forestry and infrastructure — areas and people.

Other actors including research institutions, environmental organizations, humanitarian aid organizations, local communities and the private sector can assist the government in identifying, mapping and providing further understanding of sectors and geographic areas that are likely to be negatively impacted by climate change.  

The information resulting from this assessment can be used to develop an action plan that combines CCA and DRR in those identified sectors, areas and people.

The combined expertise from different actors, in particular, humanitarian aid and environmental “know-how”, is crucial to ensure vulnerability reduction and a long-lasting recovery from climate-change related disasters.

At the local level, the government, local communities and relevant institutions need to be assisted in the implementation of vulnerability assessments that predict climate impacts and identify areas and sectors most vulnerable to climate change.

There is pioneering work in the island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, which aims to mainstream CCA and DRR using climate predictions and assessments carried out at the global and regional level.

Lombok and many other small islands in Indonesia are vulnerable to climate change impacts and related disasters.

In 2007, the governor of West Nusa Tenggara issued a decree that formed a task force comprising government, NGOs and academia to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation into the local development agenda.

After two years of assessment and policy work on projected climate change impacts and vulnerability, strategies to ensure CCA in Lombok have been adopted in the provincial mid-term development plan (2008-2014).  

This, however, is just the beginning of ensuring the survival of the island and perhaps many other islands in Indonesia.

At the community level, there is a further need to increase community resilience to climate change impacts.

Based on the compiled stories by the WWF in a number of villages across the country, fishermen and farmers have been experiencing changes in nature, such as changes in seasons schedule, stream direction, local temperature, water supply, waves and increasing high tide.

Further work is required to analyze the problem roots and look for and implement the short- and long-term solutions to their current problems, and also real threats from climate change.

Solutions may range from promoting alternative sustainable livelihoods to the application of agriculture and aquaculture better management practices.

Overall, adapting to the impacts of climate change is an uphill challenge, yet actions taken at national, local and community levels are imperative and should be supported.

Providing the necessary skills, expertise and financial support to equip relevant actors is a key to promote adaptation and ensure the survival of this nation. 

The writer is program director of climate & energy at the WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at

The original link:

Climate change in Indonesia: implications for humans and nature

A paper published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Gland, Switzerland, November 2007 

The full paper can be read here: WWF_cc_impact in indonesia_report_en_Nov07 

By Michael Case1, Fitrian Ardiansyah2, Emily Spector3

1Research Scientist, WWF International Climate Change Programme

2Program Director, Climate & Energy WWF-Indonesia

3Brandeis University



Observed climate change (Hulme and Sheard, 1999; Boer and Faqih, 2004):

  • Mean annual temperature has increased by about 0.3°C in Indonesia
  • Overall annual precipitation has decreased by 2 to 3% in Indonesia
  • Precipitation patterns have changed; there has been a decline in annual rainfall in the southern regions of Indonesia and an increase in precipitation in the northern regions
  • The seasonality of precipitation (wet and dry seasons) has changed; the wet season rainfall in the southern region of Indonesia has increased while the dry season rainfall in the northern region has decreased

Projected climate change (Hulme and Sheard, 1999; Boer and Faqih, 2004; Naylor et al., 2007)

  • Warming from 0.2 to 0.3°C per decade in Indonesia
  • Increase in annual precipitation across the majority of the Indonesian islands, except in southern Indonesia where is it projected to decline by up to 15 percent
  • Change in the seasonality of precipitation; parts of Sumatra and Borneo may become 10 to 30% wetter by the 2080’s during December-February; Jakarta is projected to become 5 to 15% drier during June-August
  • 30-day delay in the annual monsoon, 10% increase in rainfall later in the crop year (April-June), and up to 75% decrease in rainfall later in the dry season (July–September)



Water availability

  • Decreased rainfall during critical times of the year may translate into high drought risk, uncertain water availability, and consequently, uncertain ability to produce agricultural goods, economic instability, and drastically more undernourished people, hindering progress against poverty and food insecurity (Wang et al., 2006)
  • Increased rainfall during already wet times of the year may lead to high flood risk, such as, the Jakarta flood on 2 February 2007 that inundated 70,000 houses, displaced 420,440 people and killed 69 people with losses of Rp 4.1 trillion (US$ 450 million) (WHO, 2007)
  • Stronger, more frequent El Niño events will exacerbate drying and/or flooding trends and could lead to decreased food production and increased hunger
  • Delayed wet season (monsoon) and a temperature increase beyond 2.5°C is projected to substantially drop rice yields and incur a loss in farm-level net revenue of 9 to 25% (Lal, 2007)
    sea-level rise
  • Currently increasing at 1-3 mm/year in coastal areas of Asia and is projected to accelerate to a rate of about 5 mm per year over the next century (Cruz et al., 2007)
  • Increase from 13 million to 94 million people flooded annually in South Asia (under very conservative sea-level rise scenarios – 40cm by 2100) (Wassmann et al., 2004)
  • 1 million at risk from flooding and sea-water intrusion due to sea-level rise and declining dry-season precipitation, negatively impacting the aquaculture industry (e.g., fish and prawn industries) and infrastructure along the coasts of South and South-East Asia, (Cruz et al., 2007)

Biodiversity and ecosystem services

  • Up to 50% of Asia’s total biodiversity is at risk (Cruz et al., 2007)
  • 88% loss of coral reefs in Asia in the next 30 years because of warming sea-surface temperatures, sea level rise, and other added stresses (Wilkinson, 2004)
  • Significant declines in fish larvae abundance and large-scale changes in fish habitat, such as skipjack tuna, are projected in the equatorial Pacific (Cruz et al., 2007; Loukos et al., 2003)
  • Massive coral bleaching leading to widespread loss of coral reefs and biodiversity, including the fish that many Indonesians rely on for food and livelihoods
  • Sea-level rise, increased extreme weather events, warming temperatures, and changes in ocean circulation and salinity patterns impacting Indonesia’s marine turtle populations (WWF, 2007a)
  • More frequent forest fires having significant impacts on wildlife habitat and biodiversity and translating into serious economic and domestic and trans-boundary pollution consequences – the economic costs of the droughts and fires in 1997-1998 were about US$ 9 billion (Applegate et al., 2002)
  • Sea-level rise, reduced freshwater flows, and salt-water intrusion, in addition to the existing stresses primarily due to human activities threaten Indonesia’s coastal mangroves (Tran et al., 2005)
  • Changes in species distribution, reproduction timings, and phenology of plants (Cruz et al., 2005)

Human health

  • More frequent and severe heat waves, floods, extreme weather events, and prolonged droughts leading to increased injury, illness, and death
  • Increased vector-borne infections (e.g., malaria and dengue), an expansion of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea, an increase in infectious diseases, poor nutrition due to food production disruption, ill-health due to social dislocation and migration, and increased respiratory effects from worsening air pollution and burning
  • Increased diarrhoeal disease and endemic morbidity and mortality (Checkley et al., 2000)
  • Rise in severe respiratory problems following an increase in the frequency and spread of wildfires that release toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons
  • A rise in the number of dengue fever cases during the rainy season (PEACE, 2007)
  • More phytoplankton blooms, providing habitats for survival and spread of infectious bacterial diseases, such as, cholera (Pascual et al., 2002)
  • Increased water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoeal diseases (e.g., Giardia, Salmonella, and Cryptosporidium) (McMichael et al., 2003)

Vulnerability and adaptation

  • Water availability and food production are highly sensitive and vulnerable sectors to changes in temperature and precipitation include (Cruz et al., 2007)
  • Prolonged droughts, increased flooding, and more frequent and severe storms may lead to major agricultural losses and a substantial drop in food productivity
  • Increased frequency and severity of El Niño events and fires will impact food production and will the ability of natural systems to provide ecosystem services
  • Warming ocean temperatures, sea-level rise, and increased storms will impact coastal systems by increasing coral bleaching events, changes in fish availability, inundation of coast lines and mangroves, and exacerbating risks to human health affecting millions of people
  • The following can enhance social capital and reduce the vulnerability to climate change:
    • Increase education and technical skills
    • Increase income levels
    • Improve public food distribution
    • Improve disaster preparedness and management and health care systems
    • More integrated agro-ecosystems
    • Increased water storage, water efficiency and re-prioritizing current water use
    • Investment in drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant crops
    • Crop diversification
    • Better early El Niño warning systems
    • Sustainable management of coastal zones
    • Conservation of mangroves
    • Reducing deforestation and protection of forests

Original link: